Mar 28, 2013; Washington, D.C., USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Shane Larkin (0) and forward/center Julian Gamble (45) react after losing to the Marquette Golden Eagles 71-61during the second half of the semifinals of the East regional of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Miami PG Shane Larkin to Declare for NBA Draft, Hurricanes in Trouble

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Hurricane Shane is whisking out of Coral Gables, leaving behind the ruins of a run-down basketball program he, for one year, helped salvage.

Miami sophomore point guard Shane Larkin will declare for the NBA draft this weekend, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz. Larkin has scheduled a Sunday 6 p.m. (ET) news conference at the university to expound upon his decision, but could bump up that timetable since his future is publicly known. The deadline to declare for the draft is Sunday.

Mar 17, 2013; Greensboro, NC, USA; Miami (Fl) Hurricanes guard Shane Larkin (0) reacts after hitting a three point shot in the first half during the championship game of the ACC tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The son of Hall of Fame shortstop Barry, the junior Larkin averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals in guiding the Hurricanes to the school’s first-ever ACC regular-season and tournament championships. Miami reached the Sweet 16 as a No. 2 seed, another program-best, before stumbling against Marquette.

Larkin’s breakout sophomore campaign vaulted his name onto draft boards throughout the league. His stock skied even further, drawing serious first round consideration, as other coveted draft prospects — Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, Michigan’s McGary and Glenn Robinson III and Syracuse’s CJ Fair — chose to return to school. Most NBA executives now have Larkin earmarked as a late first-rounder.

A blur on the court who made a habit of breaking down opposing defenses, especially in crunch time, Larkin possessed the quickest first step in the college game last season, paired with a quick shot release and deadeye accuracy from long distance. He shot 41-percent from 3-point range and showcased one of the most consistent teardrops in the lane, enabling the 5-foot-11 point guard to work around obvious size limitations. The biggest red flag impeding Larkin and his pro future is his diminutive frame, which won’t improve by returning to school.

Down Larkin and a cavalcade of departing upperclassmen, Miami is entering a phase of daunting reconstruction, just months removed from an all-time program high. The Hurricanes lose guards Durand Scott and Trey McKinney-Jones, stretch-forward Kenny Kadji and big men Reggie Johnson and Julian Gamble from a 29-win team inviting enough to lure Miami Heat stars LeBron James, DWyane Wade and former UM alum James Jones into the BankUnited Center. In all, the Canes must replace all five starters and their top six scorers, who accounted for 91-percent of the team’s points last season.In the meantime, the ACC’s fiercest squall from last winter has been downgraded from tropical storm to light drizzle. Without Larkin at the helm, these Hurricanes are anything but.
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